Monthly Archives: April 2019

NDP fears government is opening the backdoor for more health privatization

It was no surprise that the government introduced legislation to allow the option for private pay CT scans, but the inclusion of the words “medical imaging” had the opposition fearing this opens the backdoor for more privatization.

“The opportunity to create user pay diagnostics is right there in the bill,” NDP health critic Danielle Chartier said.

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  • Saskatchewan passes private MRI law

  • Saskatchewan law allowing people to privately pay for MRIs kicks in

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    “If that’s something they weren’t thinking of, or opening the door down the road, they never should have put it in the bill in the first place. They only campaigned on CT Scans.”

    The Saskatchewan Party campaigned on introducing a private pay option for CT scans, with the condition that the clinic provide a free scan to someone waiting on the public list.

    “What we’re planning to adopt is legislation that will provide us with some flexibility,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said.

    He said in the event the government wants to add another diagnostic scan to the private pay list, like x-rays, they wouldn’t have to scrap the existing legislation and introduce a new bill like they have with the CT scans.

    “I think we have the license to try some innovative things and to be pretty open with the public that we’ll have to do some innovative things in healthcare if we’re going to see a sustainable system going forward,” Duncan explained.

    However, Chartier said the government hasn’t been shy to bring bills back in the past to add things to them, and worries about how this my impact Medicare.

    “The reality is if you pay for diagnostic services you get treatment before other people do,” she said.

    “Why would you pay for diagnostics if it means you couldn’t get your treatment? This is about getting treatment faster than those on the public list.”

    Legislation allowing private MRIs came into effect on February 29, 2016. Since then 258 scans have been done, and 77 were paid for. The other 181 were done through previously made agreements with the Worker’s Compensation Board and Saskatchewan Roughriders.

    Currently there are two licensed facilities in Regina that can provide private MRI scans.


Community rallies around Syrian families dealing with bed bug infestations

Nearly 50 Syrian refugee families have resettled in the Crescent Valley community in the north end of Saint John since the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, about seven of those families have been dealing with an infestation of bed bugs.

READ MORE: Syrian refugee resettlement program $136M under budget in 1st year

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“We know that they’re quite upset, but that they know that everybody is caring and that everybody is trying to do what they can,” said Ann Barrett, president of the Crescent Valley Resource Centre.

“I think they went away with a knowing that there was going to be teams going in to help them.”

Much has been done, despite the language barrier, to educate the families on the situation and how to deal with it going forward. The YMCA of Greater Saint John has been central in the Syrian resettlement and says it will be up to the affected families how they proceed.

READ MORE: Saint John Syrian refugees learn English to better job prospects

“We will be more than willing to temporarily move them into hotel accommodations while the exterminators are in their homes,” said CEO Shilo Boucher. “If they choose to move to another area of the city, we will also help them do that.”

That’s not something residents want to see. Janet McLaughlin heads the Crescent Valley Community Tenants Association. She has seen the community, one of the city’s priority neighbourhoods, make great improvements over the years and feels the publicity over the issue has unfairly painted them in a negative light.

“We may have a bed bug situation down here but so does the whole province,” she said.

“It’s not just Crescent Valley, it’s everywhere. So to target us —; and the new families, plus our own families that are living here —; to me was unjust.”

Community leaders say the Syrian families have been very active participants in their new neighbourhoods.

“The children are out playing, the families are out in the evening after supper sitting around having tea,” said Crescent Valley Resource Centre executive director Anne Driscoll.

READ MORE: Immigration Minister regrets remark on Syrian refugees use of food banks

“We found they were very active when we had our community clean up.”

McLaughlin said there’s a feeling everyone can benefit by their presence.

“Its a win win situation for both sides,” she said. “We’re going to learn from them just as much as they’re going to learn from us and that’s what we want down here.”


UNB releases long awaited sexual assault policy and procedures document

The University of New Brunswick released its Sexual Assault Policy and Procedures document Thursday after more than a year of consultation, revision and recommendations.

“After reviewing other campus policies and consulting with many of you … we now have a policy that will help us provide a safer and more welcoming environment for all members of our university community and our visitors,” UNB President Dr. Eddy Campbell said in a statement.

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The document details actions the university will take in the event a sexual assault is reported, and also discusses how it plans to create an atmosphere of zero tolerance for such incidents.

READ MORE: ‘No one knew how to respond’: N.B. universities to improve sexual assault policies

In addition, training programs and increasing awareness by way of a consent and education campaign beginning this fall are mentioned as key initiatives.

“We are also working to have campus sexual support advocates in place on our campuses,” announced Dr. Shirley Cleave, UNB academic learning environment associate vice president.

“These individuals will help foster an environment and provide direct support services so that anyone who experiences a sexual assault feels safe and supported and is more likely to come forward.”

Knowing that many sexual assault cases can go unreported, the university has come up with a way to provide students and staff with the ability to educate themselves in private through the use of an all-encompassing online tool.

“The website will provide information on how the university would deal with a situation, provide awareness pieces, educational pieces, resources,” said Cleave.

“It’ll be a place where students who are concerned about the issue of sexual assault can get information and resources”

READ MORE: N.B. universities explore how social media fits in sexual assault policies

The announcement was met with praise from the school’s student union, an organization that had long called for the document.

“It’s excellent to have this in place now,” said Travis Daley, UNB student union president.

“It was a long time coming but you can see that the time and effort they’ve put into it has paid off,” said Daley.

“It’s well rounded and we’re very happy that our students now have this in place when issues arise.”

The UNB Sexual Assault Policy and Procedures document will be reviewed after an initial four-year term, or sooner if requested.


Roseanne Barr: ‘We would be so lucky if Donald Trump won’

Comedian Roseanne Barr has become something of a 桑拿会所 aficionado over the last few years, moving further away from TV acting and spending more time making online political commentary.

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She’s no stranger to strong opinion, that’s for sure, especially when it comes to anti-Semitism, feminism and the current American presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

READ MORE: Roseanne Barr reveals she’s losing her eyesight

The normally centre-and-left-leaning Barr shocked many of her followers when she stated in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the American people would “be lucky if Trump won.”

“I think we would be so lucky if Trump won,” she said. “Because then it wouldn’t be Hillary.”

“I think Hillary probably got the receipt, because she paid for the Oval Office,” she continued. “And both Trump and Bernie are playing the heel for Hillary.”

She slammed Clinton and the entire election itself (saying it was “fixed”), accusing the ex-Secretary of State of being friends with “everybody that gives her any goddamned money.”

“The fact is, you don’t get to be the nominee without taking a lot of dirty money,” she said. “You might be the best f***in’ person on earth, but if you’re hanging out with criminals who do bad things, that matters a lot.”

READ MORE: Meryl Streep impersonates Donald Trump in fat suit and “orangeface”

She then went on to speak well of Trump, mainly because he largely financed his own campaign without help from donations and “dirty money.”

“That’s the only way he could’ve gotten that nomination,” she said. “Because nobody wants a president who isn’t from Yale and Harvard and in the club. It’s all about distribution. When you’re in the club, you’ve got people that you sell to. That’s how money changes hands, that’s how business works. If you’ve got friends there, they scratch your back and blah, blah.”

Barr said she admires Trump’s respect for the order of law, and agrees with him on the prospect of vetting all potential immigrants to the U.S.

“I mean, illegal immigration…,” she said. “…When people come here and they get a lot of benefits that our own veterans don’t get. What’s up with that?”

After 桑拿会所 users began attacking her for her perceived Trump support, Barr called her followers “idiots” for thinking she supports or would vote for Trump.

She then insists that she’s voting for herself, anyway.

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Roseanne Barr Timeline | PrettyFamous


Family leaves grandmother in ER for a week

An elderly woman spent more than a week in a Halifax emergency room because her family refused to take her home, according to the chief of Nova Scotia’s largest ER.

Dr. Samuel Campbell said the woman was not ill, but her grandchildren were looking after her and felt they could no longer cope with her mild dementia.

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Campbell said Halifax Infirmary emergency room staff contacted her next of kin — the woman’s children, who were in Florida at the time — but they became angry that she couldn’t stay in emergency and refused to take her home.

The staff were threatened with legal action or with bringing the issue to the media.

“The family was just saying, ‘We refuse to take her home. She’s your problem. Do something’,” said Campbell in an interview on Thursday. “Nurses are crying and social workers are desperate.”

The woman stayed at the hospital for 215 hours, or almost nine days, before being discharged Thursday, said Campbell.

“That’s 60 patients, 60 sick patients that basically did not get care while she was here because she was using up the space that they paid their tax dollars to provide for their emergency care,” said Campbell, adding that another elderly person was in the emergency room for more than four days.

Such situations are becoming all too common in the region’s emergency rooms, said Campbell: Elderly people who are not acutely ill are clogging the system and preventing others from receiving emergency care.

Campbell said some families are not planning for the long-term care of their loved ones and instead drop them off at emergency when they can no longer cope with their needs.

“They throw their hands up and say they can’t manage any longer… In some ways it’s almost abandonment,” said Campbell.

“The problem for us is that we can’t do our job… The emergency department is for managing emergencies. An emergency is an unexpected health crisis. This is not an unexpected health crisis. It’s a social crisis that should have been anticipated. They didn’t suddenly become demented and old.”

Campbell said in most cases, the elderly person has cognitive issues.

“They languish in the emergency department. It’s lit 24 hours a day. It’s noisy 24 hours a day. It’s not a calm environment, which is exactly what these people need,” said Campbell.

Health Minister Leo Glavine reiterated Thursday that wait times for long-term care beds are coming down. He said Emergency Health Services are also now able to go to homes and address health needs without going to the emergency room.

“Part of that… is educating our senior population so that they know that there could be another avenue for them to get the care that they need,” said Glavine after a cabinet meeting.